Some Assembly Required

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hip Pocket!

     Kristy, one of our daughters, and her husband Patrick have two children:  Erin--easy-going, obedient, fun; Pearce—boy—enough said?   Erin was such an easy baby, and then came—“the boy” as his mother refers to him when he is in trouble or is perilously close to trouble.  We weren’t accustomed to little boys and their curious nature or their constant motion.  We had not had a male child born into our family in 32 years when Pearce came along.  What a surprise!  Erin was around 3 ½ when Pearce was born, so Kristy had her hands full especially when she would go somewhere with the two of them without the help of another adult.  Even when Pearce was just a few months old, he was very difficult to hold because, after all, he is a boy and was always twisting and turning and reaching and grabbing.
     In order to handle him, Kristy had to develop a method for keeping up with both of them when it was time to go anywhere.   When they would head into a grocery store or mall or whatever, Kristy would look at Erin and say to her, “Erin, hip pocket.”  Erin knew at that point she was supposed to reach up and put her little hand into her mom’s hip pocket.  If there were no hip pocket, she would simply grab her mother’s shirt tail or skirt or whatever.  This allowed Kristy to focus on keeping Pearce’s hands out of trouble and at the same time know that Erin was safe. 
     Every once in a while, Erin, being just a little thing, would forget and let her hand drop.  Kristy’s motherly instinct would know immediately that Erin wasn’t where she was supposed to be.  She would stop and say, “Erin, hip pocket.  Pay attention now.  Stay close.”  Erin would comply, and they would go about their business.  Sometimes it would happen again and maybe even again in the same outing.  Each time, the same routine would bring Erin back to her mom and keep her close until---the next time.
     I have thought about that little routine often and have been so impressed with the simplicity of it.  Of course, part of the success of the routine was that at that age, Erin was usually very compliant, and there was no squabble about whether she was going to cooperate or not.  It would have been an entirely different story if Erin had been a rebellious or strong-willed child.  
     Food for thought:  How often does God have to look at you and remind you, “Hip pocket.  Stay close.  Pay attention now”?   Back in the late 1980’s, perhaps early 1990’s, there was a popular song that church choirs across the country sang entitled “Who Moved?”   The essence of the song is that if you find that you are not as close to God as you once were, “Who Moved?”  Obviously, it is not God.  Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever.”  It is, therefore, our responsibility to move—back to a close relationship with Him. 
     It is our choice:  be an obedient, compliant child who moves closer to God or be a rebellious, strong-willed child who moves in the opposite direction to do our own thing.  That’s when, as a child of God, we might hear our Father say, “Hip pocket.  Pay attention now.  Stay close.”

1 comment:

  1. I remember telling Pearce "hip pocket" except I had on a flowing, knee-length skirt...yep, up the skirt, raising it as he went. Gotta love those knot-headed little boys.


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